I was treated to a great afternoon out with my friend Julie, as a belated birthday gift. It was a surprise, so, aside from the date and time, all I knew about the outing was that we'd be having lunch, we'd be able to walk there from my place, and that I was to "wear something a step above casual". The destination was an intriguing mystery and I was pretty excited!
The day came, and along with it, skies as cloudy as could be, and it was suddenly quite cool out; this after a mini heatwave of record breaking temperatures on the days leading up. It didn't matter though, as it wasn't raining out, and perfect walking weather.
As we walked eastward along King Street West, past Spadina, approaching Blue Jays Way (which is Peter Street north of King.) I still had no idea where we were going, when instructed to turn right. Then, we soon made another right, and were suddenly facing a pair of huge black doors, with ornate golden handles.
We were at "Bisha, Boutique Hotel and Residences", where we crossed through a cool dark lobby (that smelled really nice), to an elevator. We got in and went up. Way up. Stopping at the 44th floor, to find a restaurant up there in the sky.
Kōst (pronounced "Coast") is "Inspired by the Baja Peninsula, Executive Chef Ben Heaton unites the bright, fresh and lively flavours of the Californian and Mexican coastlines by way of colourful dishes and refreshing cocktails."
As mentioned, it was cool and cloudy out, so we were seated indoors. The room is enclosed by floor to ceiling windows, so being inside was perfectly fine, at our bright corner table with excellent views. However, they do have some tables outside on the rooftop patio, that I imagine are amazing at night.
To drink, Julie had a glass of Prosecco and I a glass of Pinot Grigio. To eat, Julie chose the "Charcoal Grilled Chicken BLT with Black pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato and lemon mayo" and I went for the "California Burger, with Feta, pickled jalapeño, charcoal grilled pepper and tomato relish".
It was all delicious, and the service was great.
I have only good things to say about our experience at Kōst.
After lunch, we went outside for a look at the patio.
Back down in the lobby ...
While admiring the beautiful decor, including the crushed velvet wallpaper, we met the building's event manager who invited us to take a little tour of the lobby bar and another restaurant that offers dinner.
She told us that every decorative element in the hotel was custom made.
The bar, called "Mister C Bar Room", was dark and comfortable, with a unique round fireplace at the far end. The walls were decorated with framed Alexander McQueen scarves collected by the owner.
The restaurant, located on the second floor, which you access via a gold gilded staircase, is called "Akira Back", and is described as "Japanese cuisine with Korean flavors and now a Canadian twist: famed chef Akira Back".
Back outside, I had a chance to really look at the building, which was completed less than a year ago. It's one of those new builds that I love the best, where the new construction melds with the historic building that already existed on the site.
There's another restaurant seen from the outside, called "French Made", offering "Salads, grains and veggies. Sandwiches on sourdough and baguettes. (Bonjour, Croque Monsieur!) Cakes, pies, eclairs, tarts and even more delectable French pastries".
All the restaurants at Bisha and the bar are open to the public, so you don't have to be a hotel guest to enjoy them. However, if you are looking for a hotel room in downtown Toronto, consider staying here. I'll temp you with this link which leads to images of their gorgeous rooms.
Big thanks to Jules for such a nice outing, and to Jae for showing us around. It was a lovely and memorable experience.
And thank you for reading,
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